RESIDENTIAL LIVING AT CITYCENTER
Foster + Partners Designed Kitchens
Innovative Bathroom Design
Outdoor Living Spaces
Q: How did CityCenterDC’s Downtown location play into Foster + Partners’ master planning vision?
A: The idea was to create an urban living room, with a central plaza for gathering and an intimate park. We began by thinking of how we could break the urban scale down. We realized that, historically, Washington was crisscrossed with alleys and side streets and we wanted to capture these to create truly pedestrian places off the main streets for people to go to -- bringing it closer to what we thought would be a more friendly, walkable part of DC.
Q: Your firm has a lot of advanced thought about how to build in a modern era. What environmental sensitivities or design considerations were important in creating this project?
A: The first consideration was to ensure that people who live, walk and work at CityCenterDC would have streets that have sunlight. As a result, the first thing we built was not the buildings, but structures that had to do with the streetscapes and providing a good place to be. It also was important for CityCenterDC to blend into the surrounding neighborhood, so we chose specific trees and lighting styles that are familiar to the area.
It was only then that we went into designing the buildings themselves, keeping in mind that all buildings have four sides and each reacts differently, so there's more exposure to sun on the south, less on the north. We made sure every apartment had a large amount of light coming into The Residences at CityCenter. Additionally, building materials and systems were chosen very carefully -- making sure everything was of quality. All of this was achieved within the framework of sustainability, and the master plan has been pre-certified to achieve LEED Neighborhood Development, the first certification of its kind in the United States.